Please

Please

Recently, I participated in an online group discussion with fellow tech communicators expressing their views about the topic of using the word “please” at the beginning of procedural steps. You probably read procedures when you install software or use a product for the first time: Rotate the left housing as illustrated. Push the OPEN button… Continue Reading

Want more engaging webinars?

Want more engaging webinars?

Webinars seem to be everywhere. I receive webinar invitations every day and I’m sure that you do, too. Here’s why training webinars are popular: Cost-effective Adaptable to most people’s schedules Easily recordable Faster than live classes or events Of course, if something is popular, there will be books written about it, right? You betcha! At… Continue Reading

4 books about grant writing

I’m teaching a course in Grant Writing in March 2017 and thought that I would like to brush up on recent books about this discipline. I encourage you to do what I did: Check out books on grant writing from the library and decide which one (or ones) to buy for detailed study. Which would… Continue Reading

Engage your webinar audience with compelling interaction

Engage your webinar audience

We have all sat through webinars that were basically an excuse for the presenter to push information at us with no opportunity or enticement for us to engage. We all recognize these events as a multitasking opportunity for us. I don’t know if these presenters actually choose not to interact with their audience or just… Continue Reading

Mind your “WEs” and “YOUs”

Mind your “WEs” and “YOUs”

I received two “you” messages recently. The first shows how NOT to use the “you” message: A client snarled, “What part of “no” don’t you understand?” (Really. I quit the contract immediately.) The second was an offer from my favorite airline, apologizing for a recent flight delay of three hours and offering me 5000 free… Continue Reading

BIG help for a BIG document

BIG help for a BIG document

Against your will or better judgment, you may find yourself writing a BIG document (more than, say, 20 pages, possibly written over several weeks or months). BIG writing projects require you first to manage yourself; then manage your text; and finally, manage your technology. Managing yourself Self-discipline will help you survive and thrive on a… Continue Reading

Are you drowning in jargon?

Are you drowning in jargon?

My son’s voicemail said: “Hi, Mom. I’m in Minnie, on my way to Indy. I passed my FO. Call me after 7; up to then, I’ll be in the box.” Hello??? One short message, four uses of airline jargon. This message certainly was concise, but it wasn’t clear to me and therefore not complete. Bruce… Continue Reading

I am a writer. You are a writer, too.

We are all writers

Think you’re not a writer? Then read Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley. You’ll probably agree with Handley that we are all writers and we should therefore be the best writers we can be. I applaud the clear and logical structure of her book; its six main sections are:… Continue Reading

Just say no to feedback, then say yes or maybe

Feedback: Just say no!

I really struggle when I receive feedback on my writing. I can work through the prewriting and drafting steps fairly well (my five-step writing process follows in the next paragraph). Fortunately, I’m usually productive in those two first steps. But I seem to hit a dysfunctional wall when I get to the third step. Here… Continue Reading